SRU and BC3 to sign articulation agreements at Dec. 4 ceremony


SRU and BC3 logos

Executives from Slippery Rock University and Butler County Community College will sign five articulation agreements at a Dec. 4 ceremony at the Russell Wright Alumni House.

Nov. 27, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Executives from Slippery Rock University and Butler County Community College will sign articulation agreements that will pave the way for students to more efficiently transfer from BC3 to SRU and earn a bachelor's degree while saving time and money. Five agreements will be signed at a ceremony, 9 a.m., Dec. 4 at SRU's Russell Wright Alumni House.

William Behre, SRU president; Philip Way, SRU provost and vice president for academic and student affairs; Nicholas Neupauer, BC3 president; and Belinda Richardson, BC3 vice president of academic affairs will sign the agreements for five SRU programs: petroleum and natural gas engineering; the nursing RN-to-BSN online program; park and resource management; physical activity and fitness management; and philanthropy and nonprofit management, to accept transfers from BC3's communications, English, general studies: general option, office administration: executive, psychology, and social work programs.

"The goal of an articulation agreement is to provide a clear and solid academic pathway for students who choose, for varied reasons, to start their post-secondary education at a community college prior transferring to a four-year university," said Betsy Stevens, SRU associate director of transfer articulation, who helped write the agreements and served as the facilitator between the two institutions during a year-and-a-half process. "Butler County is fortunate to have two high-quality academic institutions that are similar in their commitment to keeping pace with needed academic programs, and that is evidenced by these articulation agreements."

Butler County is one of two counties in Pennsylvania with both a community college and an institution in Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. Each year, more than 200 students transfer to SRU from BC3, which is continually ranked No. 1 by among the 14 community colleges in Pennsylvania. Overall, approximately 850 students transfer to SRU, which Stevens said is a large amount relative to SRU's 8,824 enrollment.

"SRU has a history of flexible transfer credit acceptance and working with transfer students to provide a smooth transition to the University," Stevens said. "We try to incorporate as many allowances in the process so that students don't have to reinvent the wheel, take additional credits and spend more time and money (than is necessary) to complete their degrees."

With the addition of the five new agreements, BC3 students will have 32 formal academic pathways to SRU. Many of the existing agreements are part of the Statewide Program-to-Program Articulation Agreement, which are legislated through the Department of Education with the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges and PASSHE. However, the new agreements are different because the topic areas have been studied separately.

"The collegiality is one of the richest parts of the agreement," Stevens said. "It was refreshing to see the way everyone came together from different disciplines at two different institutions to focus on the common good. We put things on paper, but it's powerful to have faculty and deans engaging in conversation, negotiating and studying the curriculum."

"Agreements like these take time and energy for personnel at both institutions and Betsy does a great job of guiding and facilitating the work between the institutions," said Amanda Yale, SRU associate provost for enrollment management. "Transfer agreements streamline the complexity of determining what courses students need to take and eliminate the guess work regarding transferability. The students benefit by following very specific course plans, avoiding taking courses that may not be applicable and saving time and money by following programs of articulation agreements early in their community college experience."

The articulation agreement signing ceremony is open to the public. A continental breakfast and reception will begin at 9 a.m., following by introductions, remarks and the signing at 9:30 a.m.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |